Liberty Lifter project

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched the Liberty Lifter project to demonstrate a leap in operational logistics capabilities by designing, building, and flying a long-range, low-cost X-plane capable of seaborne strategic and tactical lift. The new vehicle concept seeks to expand upon existing cargo aircraft by proving revolutionary heavy air lift abilities from the sea.

Liberty Lifter project
Liberty Lifter Aims to Revolutionize Heavy Air Lift: large seaplane concept envisions extended operations, affordable production, advanced controls

The envisioned plane will combine fast and flexible strategic lift of very large, heavy loads with the ability to take off/land in water. Its structure will enable both highly controlled flight close to turbulent water surfaces and sustained flight at mid-altitudes. In addition, the plane will be built with a low-cost design and construction philosophy.

Although current sealift is very efficient in transporting large amounts of payload, it is vulnerable to threats, requires functional ports, and results in long transit times. Traditional airlift is much faster, but has limited ability to support maritime operations. Additionally, today, such aircraft suffer payload limitations or require long runways.

There is a history of attempting to develop aircraft created to fly with «wing-in-ground effect», which means the aircraft is flying no more than the length of its wingspan above ground or water. The most well-known examples are the Soviet «ekranoplans». These vehicles were high speed and runway-independent, but were restricted to calm waters and had limited maneuverability.

«This first phase of the Liberty Lifter program will define the unique seaplane’s range, payloads, and other parameters», said Alexander Walan, a program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. «Innovative advances envisioned by this new DARPA program will showcase an X-plane demonstrator that offers warfighters new capabilities during extended maritime operations».

To address the shortcomings of existing vehicles and operational concepts, the Liberty Lifter program focuses on addressing three main challenges.

Extended Maritime Operations: Emphasis will be placed on operating in turbulent sea states by creating high-lift abilities at low speeds to reduce wave impact load during takeoff/landing, and innovative design solutions to absorb wave forces. In addition, the project will address risks of vehicle collision during high-speed operation in congested environments. Finally, the aim is for the vehicle to operate at sea for weeks at a time without land-based maintenance activities.

Full-Scale Affordable Production: Construction will prioritize low-cost, easy-to-fabricate designs over exquisite, low-weight concepts. Materials should be more affordable than those in traditional aircraft manufacturing and available to be purchased in large quantities.

Complex Flight and Sea Surface Controls: Advanced sensors and control schemes will be developed to avoid large waves and to handle aero/hydro-dynamic interactions during takeoff/landing.

The Liberty Lifter program aims to design, build, float, and fly an affordable, innovative, and disruptive seaplane that operates efficiently in ground effect (less than 100 feet/30.5 meters above surface), can sustain flight altitudes up to 10,000 feet/3,048 meters Mean Sea Level (MSL), and enables efficient theater-range transport of large payloads at speeds far exceeding existing sea lift platforms. Liberty Lifter will use low-cost manufacturing akin to ship fabrication in building a highly innovative seaplane capable of meeting Department of Defense (DoD) heavy lift requirements (100+ tons/200,000+ lbs.) that operates with runway and port independence.

Counter-mortar capability

In four weeks of continuous live-fire exercises, an industry team led by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, and Kord, a wholly owned subsidiary of KBR, defeated multiple 60-mm mortar rounds with a 50 kW-class high energy laser integrated on a Stryker combat vehicle.

DE M-SHORAD
Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Kord team-up to defeat multiple mortars and large drones with Stryker-mounted high-energy laser

The directed energy weapon system – part of the U.S. Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, or DE M-SHORAD – acquired, tracked, targeted and defeated multiple mortars and successfully accomplished multiple tests simulating real-world scenarios.

Continuing to put the DE M-SHORAD system to the test, the recent operational assessment at White Sands Missile Range also included defeating several small, medium and large drones.

«Soldiers in the field face increasingly complex threats, and our combat-proven sensors, software, and lasers are ready to give them a new level of protection», said Annabel Flores, president of Electronic Warfare Systems for Raytheon Intelligence & Space. «The Army gave us our toughest challenge yet – countering rockets, artillery and mortars – and we took an essential step on the path to providing the maneuverable, short range air defense Soldiers need».

The DE M-SHORAD effort is aimed at protecting soldiers against various aerial threats, including unmanned aircraft systems, rotary-wing aircraft, rockets, artillery and mortars. Kord serves as the primary integrator of the system on the Stryker combat vehicle, while Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides the 50 kW-class high energy laser weapon module, a specialized radar acquisition system, a beam control system and targeting sensor.

«This team once again showed that the HEL system is fully-integrated and ready to provide protection against complex threats», said Byron Bright, President of KBR Government Solutions. «With an effectively infinite magazine and near-zero cost per shot, HEL is now the proven answer to asymmetric threats like drones and mortars».

The joint industry team, which includes Rocky Research for power and thermal management, General Dynamics Land Systems for the Stryker platform, and Applied Technology Associates for additional sensors, is preparing to deliver four DE M-SHORAD units to Army Brigade Combat Teams in 2022.

RI&S’ high energy laser weapon systems, built in McKinney, Texas, works on land, in the air and at sea, providing 360-degree coverage that can protect bases, airports, stadiums and other high-value military or civilian assets. Open architecture, scalable power, and ruggedized design adapts to the demands of the mission. HEL weapons can be used as standalone systems or rapidly installed on a variety of platforms. Major suppliers for the system are based in Huntsville, Alabama; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; East Granby, Connecticut; and Los Angeles, California.

Landing Platform Dock

The keel laying of the amphibious vessel (LPD – Landing Platform Dock) ordered to Fincantieri by the Qatari Ministry of Defence within the national naval acquisition program, took place at the Palermo shipyard.

Landing Platform Dock (LPD)
The keel laying ceremony (Fincantieri picture)

The ceremony, held in a restricted format and in full compliance with anti-contagion requirements, was attended by Brig. Ahmad Al Hammadi, Qatari Emiri Naval Forces Head of Project Control Office-Italy, and Marcello Giordano and Umberto Aloi, respectively Fincantieri Palermo shipyard Director and Vice President Export Programs.

The LPD is designed consistent with the RINAMIL (rules for naval ships classification) rules to ensure extremely efficient land-air-marine connections. It will be highly flexible and capable of fulfilling different kinds of tasks, from humanitarian interventions to support the Armed Forces and land operations.

The ship will be about 143 meters/469 feet long, 21.5 meters/70.5 feet wide and it will be able to accommodate about 550 persons on board, equipped with two vehicle ramps and an internal floodable dock, capable of accommodating a ready-to-go LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized) that can also be stored on garage deck, and can be deployed using a system of davits. Furthermore, the flight deck is sized for hosting NH90 helicopter.

Rapid Response Weapon

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress successfully released an AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, or ARRW, off the Southern California coast, May 14.

Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW)
Air Force conducts successful hypersonic weapon test

Following separation from the aircraft, the ARRW’s booster ignited and burned for expected duration, achieving hypersonic speeds five times greater than the speed of sound.

«This was a major accomplishment by the ARRW team, for the weapons enterprise, and our Air Force», said Brigadier General Heath Collins, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons. «The team’s tenacity, expertise, and commitment were key in overcoming the past year’s challenges to get us to the recent success. We are ready to build on what we’ve learned and continue moving hypersonics forward».

The 419th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) and the Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force, or GPB CTF, both at Edwards Air Force Base, California, executed the test.

«The test team made sure we executed this test flawlessly», said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jungquist, 419th FLTS commander and GPB CTF director. «Our highly-skilled team made history on this first air-launched hypersonic weapon. We’re doing everything we can to get this game-changing weapon to the warfighter as soon as possible».

ARRW is designed to enable the U.S. to hold fixed, high-value, time-sensitive targets at risk in contested environments from stand-off distances. It will also expand precision-strike capabilities by enabling rapid response strikes against heavily defended land targets.

SCORPION programme

The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded the order for conditional tranche 4 (TC4) of the SCORPION programme to Nexter, Arquus and Thales, operating through the EBMR consortium.

JAGUAR
JAGUAR armoured reconnaissance and fighting vehicle

Tranche TC4 corresponds to an additional 88 JAGUAR armoured reconnaissance and fighting vehicles and 302 GRIFFON multirole armoured vehicles. This new order will bring the number of JAGUAR and GRIFFON vehicles ordered to 150 and 909 respectively, in line with the target laid out in France’s 2019-25 Military Programming Law. This represents half of the French government’s total commitment for JAGUARs and GRIFFONs (excluding the MEPAC variant) to be acquired under the SCORPION programme to renew the medium-tonnage segment of the French Army’s armoured vehicle fleet. The TC4 award comes shortly after an order was placed for 54 GRIFFON MEPAC versions, which are equipped with a 120-mm mortar, with deliveries scheduled from 2024.

GRIFFON
GRIFFON multirole armoured vehicle

These two awards were announced by the French Prime Minister during his visit to Nexter’s Roanne site on 19 February. This latest order underscores France’s continuing confidence in the EBMR consortium partners, which have been ensuring on-time deliveries since the beginning of the programme. It provides Nexter, Arquus and Thales, as well as the entire land defence industrial and technological base in France, with better visibility of their industrial activity through to 2025.

Missile Defense Sensor

The first Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), built by Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, arrived at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range on April 11th. The radar is the newest air and missile defense sensor for the U.S. Army, providing significantly more capacity and capability against the wide range of advancing threats facing air defenders around the world.

LTAMDS
Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) arrives at White Sands Missile Range

This is the first of six radars planned for delivery to the Army in 2022 and marks the beginning of a series of extensive tests to prove LTAMDS performance and functionality in an operational environment.

«Together with the Army, we set out to build a radar that could detect and defend against complex and evolving threats while reducing the workload on operators – and we’ve done it with LTAMDS», said Tom Laliberty, president of RMD’s Land Warfare & Air Defense business unit. «LTAMDS provides dramatically more performance against the range of threats, from manned and unmanned aircraft to cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Air defense forces around the world are taking notice of LTAMDS, with over a dozen countries showing formal interest in acquiring the radar».

LTAMDS is a 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array radar powered by RMD-manufactured Gallium Nitride, a substance that strengthens the radar’s signal, enhances its sensitivity, and increases its reliability. LTAMDS is designed to operate as a sensor in the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System.

LTAMDS, designed specifically for the U.S. Army’s lower tier mission, is the first sensor in a family of radars Raytheon is calling GhostEye. These sensors can detect otherwise unseen threats at greater distances, higher velocities, and from any direction. Leveraging the advancements of GaN technology and commonality with LTAMDS, Raytheon has separately developed GhostEye MR, a medium-range battlefield radar.

Heavy Guns Carrier

Oshkosh Defense, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, will displayed a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and trailer (JLTV-T) and a Pratt Miller Defense Expeditionary Modular Autonomous Vehicle (EMAV) at the Modern Day Marine Expo 2022. The vehicles were on display at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, District of Columbia from May 10-12, 2022.

Heavy Guns Carrier (HGC)
Oshkosh Defense highlights advanced technology capabilities at Modern Day Marine Expo 2022

The 4-door Heavy Guns Carrier (HGC) JLTV will be equipped with the John Cockrill Protected Weapon Station CPWS 2.0 turret and Northrop Grumman 25×137 mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun.

«The modular design of the Oshkosh Defense JLTV, which we’ve built over 16,000, can be adapted to dozens of military missions, from serving as battlefield ambulances to hosting antitank weapons», said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs for Oshkosh Defense. «The ability to easily integrate weapons that increase the JLTV’s firepower and lethality cost-effectively is yet another example of the vehicle’s flexibility and adaptability for next-generation warfare».

The Pratt Miller Defense EMAV on display is a tracked, autonomous vehicle developed for the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL). The EMAV’s hybrid-electric powertrain is capable of silent watch and silent mobility and provides exportable power capability. Furthermore, with a 6,000 lbs./2,721.5 kg payload capacity and flat rack, the EMAV is designed to support most logistics missions.

«Oshkosh Defense’s advanced technology capabilities run the gamut from autonomous vehicles to hybrid-electric powertrains», said Pat Williams, Vice President and General Manager of U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense. «We partner with the U.S. Marine Corps and other customers to understand and analyze the challenges they face and explore solutions. This collaboration allows us to apply these next generation defense technologies and advanced systems to our vehicles in order to meet their evolving mission needs».

Guided Missile Destroyer

The Navy commissioned USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121), the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, during a 10:00 a.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, May 14, in Charleston, South Carolina.

USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121)
Navy commissioned Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121)

USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. is the first ship to honor Marine Corps Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, Jr., the first Black Marine Corps aviator and the first Black Marine Corps officer promoted to brigadier general. When Petersen retired in 1988 after 38 years of service, he was, by date of designation, the senior-ranking aviator in the Department of the U.S. Navy.

The principal speaker is The Honorable Carlos Campbell, Naval aviator and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. Additional speakers include The Honorable Nancy Mace, U.S. Representative from South Carolina’s 1st District; The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy; General David Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations; The Honorable John Tecklenberg, Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina; Mr. George Nungesser, Vice President of Program Management, Ingalls Shipbuilding; and Ms. Gayle Petersen, daughter of the ship’s namesake.

The ship’s sponsors are Mrs. D’Arcy Ann Neller, wife of former Commandant of the Marine Corps, retired General Robert «Bob» Neller, and the late Dr. Alicia J. Petersen, Lieutenant General Petersen’s wife at the time of his passing in 2015. Dr. Petersen passed away in September 2021. Both sponsors participated in the keel laying, mast stepping, and christening ceremonies. Mrs. Neller gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life».

«This ship honors the life and legacy of Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, Jr., a pioneer not just for Marine Corps aviation but for our entire naval force», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro. «I have no doubt the crew will be a cornerstone of the Surface Force carrying his legacy forward and strengthening the bond between our Navy and Marine Corps team».

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet providing protection to America around the globe. These highly capable, multi-mission ships conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security, providing a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface domains. These elements of seapower enable the Navy to defend American prosperity and prevent future conflict abroad.

The nearly 9,500-ton USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. is 510 feet/156 m in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet/18 m, and a navigational draft of 31 feet/9.5 m. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h. USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. will homeport at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

 

Ship Characteristics

 

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 31 feet/9.5 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar (Lockheed Martin)/AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-23-17 12-01-18 Mayport, Florida
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16 07-27-19 Mayport, Florida
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW 10-27-19 12-08-21 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17 09-26-20 Mayport, Florida
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW 05-16-21 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS 07-13-18 05-14-22 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS 01-27-20
DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum Jr. GDBIW
DDG-127 Patrick Gallagher GDBIW

 

Christened And Launched

The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 29, the future USS Beloit. Ship sponsor, Major General Marcia M. Anderson, USA (Ret.) christened Littoral Combat Ship LCS-29, the future USS Beloit, prior to its launch into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) Shipyard on May 7, 2022.

USS Beloit (LCS-29)
Littoral Combat Ship 29 (USS Beloit) Christened and Launched

«Lockheed Martin is confident that the sailors of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 29, the future USS Beloit, will play a critical role in supporting maritime security and deterrence. The LCS Freedom-variant, operationally deployed today, is an unmatched and highly adaptable warship, designed to outpace the growing threat of our adversaries and fulfill the dynamic missions of the U.S. Navy. Our team of more than 800 suppliers maintains a strong partnership with the U.S. Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to the highly capable and resilient LCS class». – Steve Allen, Lockheed Martin vice president, Small Combatants and Ship Systems.

In 2011, Major General Marcia Anderson was named the first female African American officer to earn her second star in the U.S. Army reserves. When the former Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Richard Spencer, directed that LCS-29 be named after the City of Beloit, he also asked that General Anderson be honored as the ship sponsor.

«I am honored and excited to be a part of the christening and launch of the USS Beloit. As a Beloit native, I am well aware of the long history my city has had as it supported our national security by not just providing people who served, but also helped build the amazing ships and vehicles that have made our military the envy of the world. I know the USS Beloit will carry that tradition forward as she and her crew become an integral part of our nation’s history, and I am happy to be able to play a small role as the Sponsor during the life of this great ship». – Major General Marcia M. Anderson, USA (Ret.), Ship Sponsor of the future USS Beloit (LCS-29).

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. Built at the Midwest’s only naval shipyard, LCS production supports 12,500 U.S. jobs, including more than 7,500 jobs in Wisconsin and Michigan.

«Shipbuilding is hard work, done by dedicated professionals. And I could not be more proud of the work done by our team here in Marinette to get another Freedom-class warship built and in the water where she belongs». – Mark Vandroff, Fincantieri Marinette Marine CEO

Unique among combat ships, LCS is deployed today for close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy’s fleet. In the last year, Freedom-variant Littoral Combat ships have supported the Navy on various missions including several counter-illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in narcotics seizures. Its speed, strength and versatility make it a critical tool to help sailors achieve their missions. Recently, the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship for the first time has deployed to US 6th Fleet, as a measure of assurance for NATO allies and partners in Europe and Africa.

LCS-29 is the 15th Freedom-variant LCS and 29th in the LCS class. It is the first ship named in honor of the city of Beloit, Wisconsin. Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered 11 ships to the U.S. Navy. There are five ships in various stages of production.

Click here to view additional photos and here for a B-roll package (Password: Beloit) to include ceremony highlights.

 

Background

The christening and launch celebrate a major milestone in the life of the future USS Beloit (LCS-29) and marks a significant event in the history of the nation’s 29th Littoral Combat Ship. LCS-29 is named for Beloit, Wisconsin, and its citizens. It is the first ship to bear the name. Beloit and its citizens have been tremendous supporters of the Navy and Marine Corps for decades. In Beloit, engines for the Freedom-variant LCS are built. These and many other contributions of Beloit citizens have made the U.S. Navy stronger, more capable and lethal.

The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. Built at the Midwest’s only naval shipyard, LCS production supports 12,500 U.S. jobs, including more than 7,500 jobs in Wisconsin and Michigan.

 

Ship Design Specifications

Hull Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Length Overall 389 feet/118.6 m
Beam Overall 57 feet/17.5 m
Draft 13.5 feet/4.1 m
Full Load Displacement Approximately 3,200 metric tons
Top Speed Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range at top speed 1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km
Range at cruise speed 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km
Watercraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 4
Aircraft Launch and Recovery Up to Sea State 5
Propulsion Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion
Power 85 MW/113,600 horsepower
Hangar Space Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters
One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)
Core Crew Less than 50
Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet
Integrated Bridge System Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation
Core Self-Defense Suite Includes 3D air search radar
Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system
Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System
57-mm Main Gun
Mine, Torpedo Detection
Decoy Launching System

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Freedom (LCS-1) 06-02-2005 09-23-2006 11-08-2008 San Diego, California
USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) 07-11-2009 12-07-2010 09-22-2012 San Diego, California
USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) 10-27-2011 12-18-2013 11-21-2015 San Diego, California
USS Detroit (LCS-7) 08-11-2012 10-18-2014 10-22-2016 San Diego, California
USS Little Rock (LCS-9) 06-27-2013 07-18-2015 12-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Sioux City (LCS-11) 02-19-2014 01-30-2016 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 08-03-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018 10-26-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018 08-08-2020 Mayport, Florida
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018 06-15-2019
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018 01-19-2020
USS Marinette (LCS-25) 03-27-2019 10-31-2020
USS Nantucket (LCS-27) 10-09-2019 08-07-2021
USS Beloit (LCS-29) 07-22-2020 05-07-2022
USS Cleveland (LCS-31) 06-20-2021

 

Extra Large

Defence technology company Anduril Industries and the Australian Defence Force are entering into commercial negotiations for a US$100m co-funded design, development and manufacturing program for Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (XL-AUVs) for the Royal Australian Navy.

XL-AUV
Anduril and the Royal Australian Navy to Partner on Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles

The XL-AUV will be an affordable, autonomous, long endurance, multi-mission capable AUV. It is modular, customizable and can be optimized with a variety of payloads for a wide range of military and non-military missions such as advanced intelligence, infrastructure inspection, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting. Anduril’s approach to development of the XL-AUV will deliver the vehicle at a fraction of the cost of existing undersea capabilities in radically lower timeframes.

The three-year XL-AUV development program has an incredibly ambitious delivery schedule which will involve capability assessment and prototyping in record time using Anduril’s agile capability development systems. There will be three prototypes delivered to the Royal Australian Navy over the three-year life of the program.

Anduril has proven it is capable of moving much faster than traditional defence development timelines. In 2020, Anduril became the youngest company to win a program of record with the United States Government since the end of the Korean War with its Autonomous Surveillance Towers (AST) program. Anduril also began developing an end-to-end counter-drone solution in 2019, which U.S. Special Operations Command designated as its system of choice in a US$1B deal in 2022.

Anduril will design, develop and manufacture the XL-AUVs in Australia. Anduril will recruit, build and retain a highly skilled workforce. To support the design, development and manufacturing of the program Anduril plans to hire dozens of employees in high skilled roles including maritime engineering, software development, advanced manufacturing, robotics, propulsion design, mission operations and more. In addition, Anduril will actively partner with other Australian SMEs (small-to-medium enterprise) and the research and technology communities to source nearly all elements of the supply chain for the program.

«The XL-AUV project is a significant investment in Australian industrial capabilities», said David Goodrich, OAM, Exec Chairman and CEO, Anduril Australia. «Through this partnership, Anduril Australia will become a major player in the thriving defence industrial base in Australia and contribute to Australia becoming a leading exporter of cutting-edge autonomous capability to the rest of the world».

«There is a clear need for an XL-AUV built in Australia, for Australia», said Palmer Luckey, Anduril Founder. «The XL-AUV will harness the latest developments in autonomy, edge computing, sensor fusion, propulsion and robotics to bring advanced capability to the Royal Australian Navy».